The dinner was a little different from an average night out at a restaurant, and not just because of the turducken. It was set as a long table for all 25 guests, and it was a great idea.
Just like a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it encouraged people to talk with the other diners - but without any family fights. Everyone was mixed together, couples across the table from other couples, families and friends in between, but most of us didn't know one another prior to sitting down to eat. Violet and I sat across from a local Maple Ridge couple and we talked about how we had found the restaurant, what we liked for food and in general about what was going on. Just good food, pleasant company, and a good night out.
As much as the company and setup was a nice change of pace, the real star was the food. Violet and I had eaten there before, we got engaged there earlier this year in fact. The food did not disappoint either, with a three course meal all laid out for us. The appetizer was a white bean puree with truffle oil topped with caramelized onions and carrots. It was a nice start to set up our tastebuds for later.
And our tastebuds hardly needed any warming up, what with a turducken for the main course. They brought it out whole at first so we could all get a look at it (and to get us salivating as it smelled - and looked - amazing) before bringing it back to the kitchen to carve and then serve to each person. While we waited for the carving, the sides were brought out as well, which further got our appetites going. The potatoes were roasted with rosemary sprigs in the bowl, and there were some darkly soaked in red wine. The yams were smooth and creamy, with marshmallows melted on top, and the stuffing was nice and moist. I even ate the brussel sprouts, which had chunks of bacon and were very good considering my aversion to them usually. The heirloom carrots were back for the entree to add the final side, with the purples, oranges and yellows making for some more nice colour on the plate (and of course they were very tasty as well). Gravy was ready at hand to drizzle over top of course, and there was no shortage of food. Sometimes it's good to have leftovers!
While everyone was talking about how good it was (and how full we all were), they took our orders for coffee and then reminded us of the dessert soon to come. At first, when they were listing off the menu for dessert, we thought it was our choices, but it was in fact pieces of one dessert. It included an apple crisp coffee cake, topped with a lemon/white chocolate brittle and yam sorbet. That all came with a side of cinnamon chocolate soup which was meant to drizzle all over everything, and when it was eaten together, was an excellent combination. Despite being quite full, people were asking for more of the yam sorbet and cinnamon chocolate soup in particular.
The executive chef, Chris Roper, seemed to very much enjoy not only cooking the whole meal but sourcing the ingredients from local vendors. Robert Klaus, the head waiter and partner in the restaurant with Chris, kept us entertained with trivia about turducken and other things, as well as enticing us with tidbits about potential future long table dinner events. Which brings us to the best part, they'll be doing this again next month!
There are already plans in the works to do a roasted goose for dinner, and it'll be on November 21st. Pricing is still being determined, but whatever it is will definitely be worthwhile. I'd recommend you keep that Monday open for a dinner in Maple Ridge, and also that you act fast when they announce it officially, since those 25 spots will fill up fast if tonight was any indication.
Here's some of my photos of the food: Turducken dinner.
If interested in trying out their next long table dinner, or just a regular night even, check out their website: www.lavadininglounge.com and of course they have FB and Twitter available from there.